A romantic meal for us would be getting a takeaway Peking duck from the Flower Drum and cracking open a nice bottle of pinot (think Curly Flat or Farrside). I always ask for the [duck] carcass so we can have a soup the next day. It's a great way to feel decadent and spoiled in your own home. Obviously this doesn't happen on Valentine's Day at our house, but why should romance be confined to one day?
Should it be a walk through the animal farm with Michelle, as she is mad about animals and loves the little dancing goats? Should it be a midnight snuggle on Fitzroy’s ‘Lover’s Hill’ on a balmy night with a sneaky half-bottle of Champagne some of La Latteria’s burrata and heirloom tomatoes, a bottle of burgundy and some of the delicious cured meats from the cellar at Backstreet Bistro? Or maybe it’s some green eggs from work, soft-poached with Babka's sourdough in bed! I’m now sure it won’t be a surprise!
Head chef, Chin Chin, Melbourne
I guess, to me, Valentine’s Day was never really a day that carried too much value. Having said that, I love the fact that there is a day that can make people want to be romantic. Last year, we spent a night in the city and did an eating and drinking tour. We started at breakfast and worked our way through about eight different restaurants and 10 pubs or bars. We had so much fun just eating and drinking with no real need to be anywhere.
Marco Pugnaloni and Paul Jewson
Owners/Operators, Fitzrovia, St Kilda
Finding time for ourselves on Valentine's Day can be very tricky. Last year, Marco and I bought two-dozen freshly shucked Pacific oysters and a kilo of tiger prawns from South Melbourne market and stole away to Fern Gully in the Botanical Gardens with a bottle of Pommery Rose for a wonderfully romantic impromptu picnic between lunch and dinner service. After a busy night's service in St Kilda, one of our favourite romantic getaways is the late night supper clubs in Chinatown. One of our favourites is the Shark Fin Inn as it's open until very late and once you know what to order, they have some great secrets on the menu.
Chef/co-owner, SuperMaxi, North Fitzroy
Well, think what I would do is buy a great big crayfish and make the yummiest pasta with it – with fresh tomato, basil, chilli – have some amazing vino to match it and have a relaxing night with my family. Valentine's Day, we are not really into, but I suppose it is a good excuse to eat homemade pasta with crayfish.
Pla Liamthong and David Holtum
Owners/operators, Middle Fish, Carlton
Pla: Drive down to Portsea to have fish and chips at Portsea Pub. We did that once a year ago before we started Middle Fish. It was nice.
David: Surprise Pla with two tickets to Rooftop Cinema in the city that arrive at Middle Fish on Valentine's Day. That would be fun because we've never done that before.